Autoethnography Dissertation

Or even earlier, when one's father is a professor of Jewish folklore and one's mother an archeologist, and some nebulous and vague narrative dream is crafted during latency years, to be awakened and pursued years later?I remember playing with my father's endless stacks of draft papers, rough, worn, on their blank, clear side.

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In other cases the theoretical and the personal perspectives or voices are both explicitly presented, sometimes separately (ELLIS 1993), and sometimes in an intertwined way, where they are in dialogue throughout the text, and where this dialogue is what weaves the fabric of the text (GUREVITCH 2000; JONES 1998, 2002).

Presently, I found the latter to be the most suitable possibility, conveying my own struggles throughout my work.

I wish to reflect, through the writing of a theoretically informed autoethnography, on the space inscribed between the proposal and the dissertation, and thus on the young scholar's initiation journey through a constructed, narrative-in-becoming space, and on the relationship between the backpackers' narratives of identity and change, which I researched, and my own.

In doing so I will evocatively problematize the epitome of the academic rite-of-passage, i.e.

the writing of a modern dissertation, in times of post-modern inquiry and writing. When you come to think of it, it is difficult to pinpoint when or where a journey begins.

The discussion is informed by the experience of travel and journey which took place between the interviewees' travel narratives and my own (in the form of a dissertation writing); between "field" and "office"; between positivist and interpretive paradigms; between proposal and dissertation, between paternal and maternal sources of writing, and between academic/scientific and poetic expression. Do the backpackers, who I researched in my dissertation, begin their journey upon their arrival in Cuzco or in Katmandu?I don't remember what specifically I wrote, nor what were the many words written on the back of the used papers (probably correspondences in Yiddish, drafts of publications hammered into the paper by a typewriter, corrected papers his students' handed in, and the like). Autoethnography is a genre that suggests innovatively that in some cases, writing about and through oneself, is scholarly illuminating.I just remember it was there, on the backside, a presence. Raising my head I would see a fading picture on the windowsill. The writer addresses herself or himself ("auto"), as a subject of a larger social or cultural inquiry ("ethno"), vis-à-vis evocative and revealing writing ("graphy") (ELLIS 1993 1999).All retrieved from a large and dark space that laid between two platforms of thick, dark wood, that formed my fathers' timeless desk.I was always generously permitted access to this abundant supply of draft papers. The ] With narrative, wondering where does it all begin is intelligible. That is, how to write—and how to read—one's reflections on oneself in a theoretically rich and informed fashion.The work tells of those constitutive dimensions that in ordinary, conventional scientific language are erased or play a backstage role.These include personal, lived experience and voice, relationship between researchers and their work, processes (rather than results or products), etc. [] There is no recipe, or one, correct way of writing an autoethnography.While writing the following it become clear to me that it might be modern scientific research that frames stories of lives and of lived experiences in terms of coherency and progression, while post-modern narrative may be perceived as a less coherent and more fractured genre, and as a genre that does not only convey or reflect upon ones' identity, as it evokes, performs and constitutes it in the event of narration.In stressing the texts' polysemy and multiplicity, I am inspired by Umberto ECO's work, and particularly by ideas proposed in the Open Work (Opera aperta, ECO 1962/1989).: In this essay I explore, reflect upon and theorize my experiences as a doctoral student writing a dissertation in the field of narrative studies.The inquiry concentrates on the problematic tensions that are unique to academic writing in qualitative disciplines, tensions with which I dealt and grappled extensively during my work.

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